May 18th, 2012
07:43 AM ET
Friday marks the beginning of the G-8 summit at Camp David. Leaders from eight of the largest economies in the world will be arriving at Washington’s Dulles Airport throughout the day, and in the morning President Obama will hold his first meeting with newly elected French President Francois Hollande.
Following his bilateral meeting at the White House, Hollande will head across the street to Blair House for a luncheon hosted by Secretary Hillary Clinton.
The G8 schedule begins with working dinner for leaders only at Camp David on Friday night. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon said the dinner would include conversations on “regional and political issues” with a focus on “security issues.”
Specifically, Donilon said likely issues include Iran, where the U.S. is looking to advance the theme of international unity as well as preview expectations of the May 23rd second round of meetings with Iranians in Baghdad; North Korea; Burma, where the administration is emphasizing “remarkable progress” and “the start of a long but promising path towards democracy;” and Syria.
Saturday the summit will turn to the global economic crisis, which is widely seen as the central focus of the G8 meeting. Additionally there will be separate sessions dedicated to energy and climate, food security, the Afghan economic transition and the Middle East and North Africa transition. Donilon also emphasized on Thursday that leaders would likely have individual meetings on the “margins” of the larger conference, citing this as one of the prime reasons why Camp David was selected as the site for this summit.
But before all the G8 excitement begins, Obama is scheduled to deliver what White House officials have called “a very important speech” on food security at the Reagan building on Friday morning. To add to the conversation on food security at Camp David, four African leaders will also be attending the summit – current chairman of the African Union, Yayi Bonin of Benin, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and President Atta Mills of Ghana. These leaders were chosen because of their work on food security in their own nations.
Below is the full schedule as released by the White House: